Environmental contamination and sickness are the result of years of mining in La Unión
[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of El Salvador for April 13, 2013. See original here.]
By Gerardo Arbaiza
San Salvador – In the extreme east of the country, in the canton of San Sebastián in the Santa Rosa de Lima municipality of La Unión, is a good example of extreme neglect by government authorities, despite its being beside the most profitable gold mine in the country, a mine worked from 1968 to the beginning of the ‘80s by the United States company Commerce Group, from which a total of seven billion dollars is said to have been extracted, from which no benefit for the community is to be seen.
The list of tribulations in San Sebastián is long: the sulphurous color of the water in the San Sebastián River extends a depressing welcome to a community that, its inhabitants say, is visited by officials only when legislative and mayoral candidates are looking for votes. The acidity of this water (pH between four and five) makes it impossible to drink, comments Cidia Cortez, a researcher with the Centro de Investigación sobre Inversión y Comercio (CEICOM – Center for Research into Investment and Commerce). (more…)